Grand Rapids hears from Downtown Improvement District businesses


Downtown Improvement District businesses will have the opportunity to speak to Grand Rapids city commissioners regarding the DID board’s five-year special assessment proposal.

The public hearing, which will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 in the Kent County Commission chambers, was re-scheduled after several property owners said they had not received notice of the public hearing of necessity that was previously scheduled. The hearing will take place in the county chambers, because the city’s meeting room is under renovation.

On June 11, the DID board approved a motion recommending that the City Commission declare necessity for special assessment for the deliverance of enhanced services, beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2020.

The types of benefits conferred in the most recent recommendation would include all of the previous services, plus enhancements to public safety and economic development.

The proposal calls for expanding the DID district based on requests from businesses and property owners wishing to be included in the district.

The DID board is recommending the expansion of the special assessment district to include additional areas of the Heartside neighborhood, including Founders Brewing Co., The Rapid and Downtown Market and a portion of the immediate areas of the near west side, with Seward Avenue NW serving as western boundary of the expanded district.

A map showing properties benefiting from these enhanced services, a description of the proposed service enhancements and the proposed budget were included in the DID board’s report issued earlier this year.

Under the proposal, each property benefiting from enhanced services would be assessed and/or charged annually in proportion to its benefit determined annually in each of five years.

The proposal seeks to spread the entire cost of providing enhanced services among the various properties in the district, in proportion to the intensity of development on the property.

Components used to measure the intensity of development include land area, building area, street frontage and parking area.

The multi-year budget DID Special Assessment for 2016-2020 is as follows: FY 2016 total DID assessment of $1,105,000; FY 2017 total DID assessment of $1,157,250; FY 2018 total DID assessment of $1,212,023; FY 2019 total DID assessment of $1,269,441; and FY 2020 total DID assessment of $1,329,635.

In 2013, the DID began contracting with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. for administration of DID services. If the new multi-year necessity for a special assessment district is approved, the DID would continue to contract with DGRI to provide the enhanced services.

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